Iran, Venezuela to begin operating direct flights

Iran's national airline will begin direct flights to Venezuela next month in another sign of the increasingly close ties between the two nations. Iran Air will operate a weekly, commercial flight linking Teheran and Caracas beginning March, the Bolivarian state news agency, or ABN, reported. Iran Air also opened a new office at the headquarters of Venezuela's state airline Conviasa in Caracas on Friday, ABN said. Relations between the two countries have tightened under President Hugo Chavez and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who are united in their antagonism to the US government.